The Silmarillion is great but it's a book I can only read if I'm in the mood for it. Likewise with The Hobbit-a truly magical story but fairly simple for a mature reader. The same applies to all of the others as well. The Lord of the Rings, however, I could read anytime, for all eternity....
(This post was edited by Radagast-Aiwendil on Jul 31 2013, 4:20pm)
I was given a four-volume boxed set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was young, and once I read it I loved the whole thing, but as much as I enjoyed The Hobbit I just thought LOTR was even better. That's the book I have had the greatest connection to over the years. The Silmarillion (and other posthumous works) are great too, but they're inherently limited by the fact that Tolkien never finished them. In my humble opinion, LOTR is his greatest work.
Why do I always have to pick a favorite??
[In reply to]
LOTR, though. The Silmarillion is basically an Elven history-book and I never really connected to the characters until I read HoME, the Narn, etc.
I read LOTR before The Hobbit and consequently was confused during the beginning of LOTR ("Why is everyone saying, "The eagles are coming?" I asked). Then, when I read The Hobbit, I didn't care for it at all. Now I do, but I still like LOTR better. I will always find new depth in it, no matter how old I get.
Lord of the Rings and I love all of them, but then I thought that if I could only have one Tolkien book to read for the rest of my life, It would be The Lord of the Rings. I love The Silmarillion and all related background stuff, but I can't say I understand all of it. I enjoy The Hobbit well enough, I suppose, but overall I'm a little "meh" on it. In the end, I think LOTR is Tolkien's masterpiece, and most certainly what he will (continued to) be remembered for.
(This post was edited by demnation on Aug 2 2013, 1:17am)